Last week we participated in a beautiful Buddhist Ritual where the monk performing the ceremony explained that the BELL he was using was a symbol of wisdom. The bell used in ritual is rich in symbolic meaning and power. Mainly the bell is the mandala of Prajnaparamita, the Great Mother, from whom all reality comes forth.
Tibetan singing bowls have been used for centuries for healing and meditation purposes. They create a range of sounds to restore the normal vibratory frequencies of diseased and out-of-harmony parts of the body, mind and soul. By its sound, the bell invites or attracts the deities to attend or participate and drives away obstructing forces. The ringing of the bell can remind one of the emptiness or bring the mind into greater awareness. As a musical instrument, its sound can be an offering to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. SINGING BOWLS are actually a type of bell known as a “standing bell.” The bowls are played either by rubbing a mallet around the rim (as one might play a crystal glass with your finger), or striking the side of the bowl with the mallet. Though they are often referred to as Tibetan Singing Bowls, they are more accurately called Himalayan Bowls, as they are present throughout the Himalayan regions of Tibet, Nepal, India and Nepal. The sound is remarkable, a powerful, long-lasting harmonic hum that can be both invigorating and calming at the same time, used for healing and relaxation.
Tibetan singing bowls are used for many purposes, including stress reduction and pain relief. Some people use the bowls in combination with other healing practices, such as meditation and deep breathing, or also to help with sleeping issues.
Many proponents claim that the vibrations of a singing bowl can produce beneficial changes in the body by reducing stress, "harmonizing" the cells, and "balancing the body's energy system." Some also claim that Tibetan singing bowls can stimulate the immune system and produce beneficial changes in brain waves.
A preliminary study published in the American Journal of Health Promotionin 2014 examined the benefits of starting a directed relaxation session with 12 minutes of singing bowls and found a greater reduction in systolic blood pressure and heart rate compared to silence before a directed relaxation session.
“If we accept that sound is vibration and we know that vibration touches every part of our physical being, then we understand that sound is heard not only through our ears but through every cell in our bodies. One reason sound heals on a physical level is because it so deeply touches and transforms us on the emotional and spiritual planes. Sound can redress imbalances on every level of physiologic functioning and can play a positive role in the treatment of virtually any medical disorder.” -Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, director of Medical Oncology and Integrative Medicine, the Cornell Cancer Prevention Center in New York.
Tibetan singing bowls don’t only affect a great deal of physical healing but also have far-reaching implications that occur on emotional and spiritual levels. It is a regenerative process married to a spiritual awakening that can have profound consequences on illness, disease, and all aspects of our lives.